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2 Burnside Cooking and Food- Americana

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Recipes from America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season's Bounty

by

Recipes from America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season's Bounty Cover

 

 

Excerpt

BASIC GRATIN

The only thing that makes a casserole a gratin is the crisp, well-browned, broiled topping. You can use buttered bread crumbs, grated cheese, a mixture of the two, or nothing at all over layers of cooked vegetables.

1 pound potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, or Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 pound leafy greens, cabbage, zucchini, summer squash, fennel, Belgian endive, or cauliflower, rinsed and drained, if necessary, and thinly sliced, or an additional pound of roots and tubers above

4 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)

2 cups milk, stock, or cooled vegetable cooking liquid

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly milled black pepper

1 1/4 cups grated Cheddar, Swiss, Muenster, Monterey Jack, or other cheese

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

The only thing that makes a casserole a gratin is the crisp, well-browned, broiled topping. You can use buttered bread crumbs, grated cheese, a mixture of the two, or nothing at all over layers of cooked vegetables.

Cook the root vegetables in boiling salted water for 5 to 7 minutes, until the surface starts to look cooked. Drain; save the cooking liquid and let cool to use for the sauce, if desired. Blanch the pound of more tender vegetables; drain thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 2-quart gratin or shallow baking dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic, if using, until they start to brown, about 4 minutes.

Whisk the milk into the flour in a small bowl. Whisk the milk mixture into the onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is bubbly and thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Layer half of the root vegetables, 1/3 cup sauce, 1/4 cup cheese, half of

the tender vegetables, 1/3 cup sauce, and 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat, ending with

1 cup sauce and 1/2 cup cheese. Combine the bread crumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. If using butter, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons before combining. Sprinkle crumbs over the cheese.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the root vegetables are tender and the top is well browned.

CHAPTER ONE: BASIC TECHNIQUES

As they are picking up their weekly shares, CSA members often ask us how to clean, store, and use the vegetables. The volunteers working at the site always share their knowledge of the vegetables in question, but tips are immediately added by other members who have come to pick up their produce. We try to make a note of some of this advice and include it in our weekly newsletters. Because members come from all over the world as well as from all over the United States, it is exciting to hear the many different ways a particular vegetable can be handled. This chapter incorporates much of the basics we have learned, while tips for handling specific vegetables will be found in the recipe chapters that follow. We love fresh vegetables because they contribute color, flavor, texture, and nutrition to our diet. All of those factors are affected by the way we handle, store, and cook our produce. These guidelines will help you decide what to do next when you arrive home with a variety of fresh organic vegetables and will provide options when you have no plans for dinner.

One of the major advantages of membership in a CSA is that you have a ready, summer-long supply of local vegetables that have been picked at their prime and shipped a very short distance, and not been warehoused before you get them. This in itself ensures better flavor and less deterioration than in produce that has been picked underripe, shipped across the country, and stored in a wholesale market before reaching your supermarket. To keep your produce in good condition once you get it home, you need to do three things: reduce its respiration, prevent dehydration, and reduce bacterial and mold activity. Even after harvest, vegetables continue to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, and this means that they continue their cycle of maturation, which eventually leads to deterioration. Chilling them slows their metabolic activity and prolongs freshness. Covering them tightly helps to reduce the available oxygen and prevent dehydration but may provide the perfect environment for mold growth and doesnt allow the carbon dioxide to escape.

Vegetables will keep longer if they arent rinsed until you are ready to use them, but they can still be trimmed and placed in paper or plastic bags so that they will take up less room in the refrigerator. As a general rule, refrigerator storage in a ÒbreathableÓ bag (muslin, brown paper, one of the special plastic bags that have tiny holes, or a regular bag with a few holes snipped into it) and periodic removal of any spots or deteriorating pieces will prolong vegetable quality. However, each recipe chapter includes specifics for the vegetables included there. Onions, tomatoes, and potatoes are notable exceptions to this storage rule and should be stored at room temperature, each for a different reason.

Some CSA members find it more convenient to rinse all their produce the day they get it, so that it is ready to use in a hurry for the rest of the week. If you do choose to do this, be sure to drain the vegetables well and plan to use the leafy ones within a few days. Leafy vegetables will keep longer if dried in a salad spinner or wrapped in a kitchen towel after rinsing; root vegetables and fruit vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, and peppers can be allowed to air dry before storing.

We are often asked if it is really necessary to rinse our produce, since it is all organic. Although such produce has no pesticide or chemical fertilizer residue on it, we still recommend rinsing it. Any sand or soil clinging to leaves and roots needs to be removed, and the "tiny footprints" of birds, small animals, and insects who may have visited the fields should be rinsed away. You might have noticed that we never say "wash" the vegetables. We did once and were asked, "With soap?" No, no, no; just a rinse in fresh, cool water will be fine.

Most of the vegetables in our shares dont need to be cooked at all. The exceptions are shelled and dried beans, beets, brussels sprouts, eggplant, parsnips, potatoes, salsify, and winter squash. Even kohlrabi, turnips, and rutabagas can be eaten raw if they are shredded or thinly sliced. Slice, dice, or shred vegetables as near as possible to the time you will eat them; they begin to deteriorate, discolor due to oxidation, dry out on the surface, and lose nutrients as soon as they are cut. If you are preparing crudites for a crowd and must cut and arrange raw vegetables in advance, select those that do not oxidize. Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, kohlrabi, peppers, radishes, rutabagas, green beans, tomatoes, and turnips make great cruditŽs. Prepare and arrange them on the serving platter, cover them with moistened cheesecloth and plastic wrap, then refrigerate them until just before serving. If you are including tomatoes, the flavor will be better if you slice them, cover them tightly, and set them aside at room temperature; add them to the platter just before serving. If you are cutting or shredding something that oxidizes, toss the pieces immediately with an acid such as lemon, orange, or tomato juice, shredded onion, vinegar, salad dressing, yogurt, sour cream, or a vitamin C tablet dissolved in water, to prevent darkening.

Raw vegetables make wonderful natural containers for dips, sauces, spreads, salad dressings, soups, stews, or salads. Depending upon the size container you need, remove the top and clean or hollow out the center of a summer or winter squash, pumpkin, pepper, tomato, or cabbage. Once it has served as a container, you can rinse and cook the hollowed-out vegetable for another use. Raw vegetables make perfect garnishes. Anything from simple sprigs of flowering herbs to intricately crafted vegetable flowers can be added to individual plates or serving trays or platters to enhance their appearnce.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812967753
With:
Webber, Maura
Revised:
Webber, Maura
With:
Webber, Maura
Author:
Hayes, Joanne
Author:
Stein, Lori
Author:
Webber, Maura
Author:
Hayes, Joanne Lamb
Author:
Joanne Lamb Hayes and Lori Stein with Maura Webber
Publisher:
Villard Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Cookery, american
Subject:
Regional & Ethnic - American - General
Subject:
Specific Ingredients - Natural Foods
Subject:
Natural Foods
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Natural Healing
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Villard Books trade paperback original
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
20030731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2-COLOR THROUGHOUT
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8 x 7.8 x 0.8 in 1.25 lb

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Diet and Nutrition » Natural Healing
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » Americana
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » United States » Ethnic
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » United States » General

Recipes from America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season's Bounty Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Villard Books - English 9780812967753 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Recipes from Americas Small Farms gathers the most exciting, original, and authentic recipes—using the freshest ingredients—from those who know best how to set a table anytime of the year. Favorite recipes from farmers across the country and members of Community Supported Agriculture—a national organization that facilitates direct farmer-to-consumer sales of produce—will inspire home cooks everywhere. Also included are recipes from high-profile chefs such as Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill), Peter Hoffman (Savoy), Roxanne Klein (Roxannes), and Kevin von Klause (White Dog Café).

Readers will find it easy to locate recipes, organized by food family, that call for the vegetables and fruits that are in season, readily available, and simple to use. Recipes like Creamy Turnip Soup; Heirloom Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Tapenade Toast Points; Greek Zucchini Cakes; and Hirokos Fusion Choy with Tahini-Soy Dip give common produce exotic appeal.

The book includes a chapter on meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, and there are vegan recipes throughout. Each chapter provides details about the history, characteristics, and nutritional qualities of specific fruits and vegetables. Cooking techniques, useful sidebars, and a glossary make this book an indispensable resource.

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